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Jamie Wood – O No!

Jamie Wood's O No! at Edinburgh Festival Fringe Jamie Wood's O No! at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Here comes the sun. Jamie Wood, who stormed the Fringe with Beating McEnroe in 2013, returns with a tribute to Yoko Ono. Celebrating the work of the bete-noire of blokeish Beatles fans everywhere, Wood’s show is a slab of theatre concrete, reworking a handful of her most famous performance art pieces across a mercilessly interactive and almost aggressively gleeful hour.

In this show Wood is a hermaphrodite hybrid of John and Yoko, like the cover of Two Virgins smashed together into a wild, semi-nude love-bomb of a performer. In Cut Piece we’re invited to slice away his dress with a pair of scissors; in Parent Piece we hear a recording of his folks speaking intimately of their first meeting. Best of all, in Bag Piece he undresses and redresses with a member of the audience, swapping stories about love like two boys with torches in a makeshift tent of rumpled bedding.

It’s messy and fractious, and it’s punctuated by the gunshots that rang out on a cold New York evening 35 years ago. It builds to a cacophonous re-enactment that knocks the final bars of A Day in the Life into a cocked hat. Wood’s hat is permanently cocked, like a readied gun. He breaks rules, smashes comfort zones, and all the while knocks out a cheeky, irreverent love letter to a much maligned artist of continued relevance and impudent profundity.

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Verdict
Fractious, hilarious and punctuated by undeniable beauty, Jamie Wood’s tribute to Yoko Ono is a thing of mischief and magic
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